Monday, January 13, 2020

The Demolition of the Trinity Lutheran Church at 1550 Chestnut Street in Redding


1550 Chestnut Street, property of Trinity Lutheran Church of Redding covered in snow, photograph taken by Jeremy Tuggle on November 26, 2019.



The little church at 1550 Chestnut Street which is the property of the Trinity Lutheran Church of Redding, and originally built for the Seventh Day Adventist Church which dates back to 1938 has been demolished, this morning, January 13, 2020. Trinity Lutheran Church purchased the property in August of 1939. It was demolished due to a $2,000 fire that damaged the building on October 27, 2019.





Above demolition photo 1, looking west from Chestnut Street. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on 1/13/2020




Above: demolition photo 2. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on 1/13/2020.



Above: demolition photo 3. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on 1/13/2020.



Above: demolition photo 4, looking west on Chestnut Street in Redding. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on 1/13/2020.





A video showing the demolition of 1550 Chestnut Street in Redding, California. Filmed by Jeremy Tuggle, 1-13-2020.





Resources:
1938 City of Redding Directory

Sunday, January 12, 2020

CELEBRATING 90 YEARS WITH THE SHASTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY, 1-18-2020.

On Saturday, January 18, 2020! Shasta Historical Society will be celebrating its 90th Birthday with a Party at the Shasta Arts Council building, 1313 Market Street, Redding, 7:00 p.m. I will be presenting the main power point presentation that night called, Celebrating 90 Years With The Shasta Historical Society, our panel will include additional guest speakers as well, including a wine wall and other fundraisers. Wine & beer will be available for purchase. Please come! All our friends are invited. For more information please contact the Society at 530-243-3720 or at their website: www.shastahistorical.org or visit the Facebook event listing at Shasta Historical Society’s 90th Birthday Party. Support the Shasta Historical Society today!



COURTESY OF SHASTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

Monday, December 23, 2019

THE QUARTZ WATER FOUNTAIN ON YUBA STREET


Above: this postcard image was taken between the years: 1904 and 1915, it shows a person looking at the quartz water fountain which was on the corner of the Carnegie Library building at 1527 Yuba Street. The Lorenz hotel is near it. From the collection of Jeremy Tuggle. 

In 1904, a local pioneer woman named Emma (Gregory) Groves began raising subscriptions to have a quartz water fountain erected at the most prominent area in Redding, which she felt was at the corner of the Carnegie Library building on Yuba Street. Emma was a director of the Carnegie Library board, and a charter member of the Women’s Improvement Club of Redding. She was also the wife of George Groves, a Redding hostelry man.

By November 11, 1904, only $678 of $700 was paid by Mrs. Groves, which was enough to begin the construction of the water fountain that month. Mrs. Groves supervised the entire construction process of the fountain, yet the contractors were not named by the media. However, the construction stopped due to a lack of funds.

Then on, December 3, 1904 a meeting was held at Jacobson’s Hall by Mrs. Groves for the purpose of raising $22.00. The fountain which Mrs. Groves purchased cost her $700, and after a delightful program with music rendered by a local pianist, the final amount was raised that day. The water fountain which was entirely made of Shasta County quartz was completed that December.



Above: In Redding on Yuba Street looking west with the quartz water fountain on the south side of Yuba Street. The Western hotel appears in the distance along with the Shasta County Courthouse. This photograph was taken between 1904-1915. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society.


About 1906, the water fountain cracked at the crest and it had to be repaired. Mrs. Groves met with several architects and contractors to discuss how to repair the fountain. Several suggestions were made; however, the best method they picked was to hoop the fountain together with bands of steel near the top of it. Mrs. Groves asked Redding architect Mathew W. Herron to supervise its repair work.

After the repairs were made to the water fountain, it continued to be used by the public, yet it dried out, and the cool sparkling water couldn’t disperse from it as many people tried to drink from this fountain. A local media outlet described it as an “eyesore because it was an useless appendage - a sort of appendix to the Carnegie Library and it’s grounds made beautiful by the Women’s Improvement Club.” (SIC)


Above: left to right, the Lorenz hotel, the Carnegie Library building and the quartz water fountain looking south from Yuba Street. This photograph was taken between 1904 and 1915. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society.


In 1909, George Groves died in Redding and his widow remarried years later to David N. Honn, on March 18, 1915 in San Francisco. That year, the Women’s Improvement Club obtained permission from the City Trustees to demolish the water fountain. Demolition began on April 2, 1915 when demolition crews with jackhammers and wedges began its demise. Surprisingly, it cost the Women’s Improvement Club $100 to destroy the useless fixture.

On demolition day, Mr. and Mrs. Honn who resided in San Francisco made the trip north to Redding to watch its demise. However, when the couple arrived in Redding, they found the water fountain in ruins. The ruins of the water fountain were left for anyone to take as scrap. Mr. and Mrs. Honn remained in Redding to visit friends and then they returned to their home in San Francisco. The quartz water fountain on Yuba Street stood for eleven years.



Above: the quartz water fountain on Yuba Street in Redding with a bench near it. The advertising on the bench says "Sechrist Shoes". This photograph was taken between 1904 and 1915. There is some shadow play in the foreground. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society.




RESOURCES:



Redding’s $10,000 Christmas Gift - The Carnegie Free Public Library - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, January 23, 1904

What The Women’s Improvement Club Has Done For Redding - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, January 23, 1904

Accepted Plans For Library Park - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, November 11, 1904

Raised Money For Quartz Fountain - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, December 5, 1904

Cost $700 To Build, $100 To Tear Down - The Searchlight newspaper of Redding, April 3, 1915

Pioneer Woman Of Redding Passes On In Seattle - The Searchlight newspaper of Redding, April 5, 1925


Friday, December 13, 2019

OUR FORMER CARNEGIE LIBRARY



Above: this postcard image was taken between the years: 1904 and 1915. It shows the Golden Eagle hotel in the distance, the Lorenz hotel, the quartz water fountain and the Carnegie Library. From the collection of Jeremy Tuggle.

The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union founded the first Redding Library in 1896, and immediately organized a library board of directors to govern the library’s daily operations. In 1900, the Redding library board passed a vote to become a free library. Two years later, local media outlets assured their readers that Redding’s future would include a brand-new library building due to the growing volumes of publications they were collecting.

The July 29, 1902, edition of the San Francisco Call newspaper told their readers that the new Redding library would be built “at the corner of California and Yuba Streets and across from the four-story Hotel Lorenz, just being finished.” However, an official site wasn’t chosen yet. Due to its growth of publications it made Redding Library director, William F. Aram apply to the Carnegie Library Institute which was owned by industrialist Andrew Carnegie of New York for the purpose of obtaining one of their popular library buildings for the City of Redding in early 1903. By February of that year, it was Aram who was negotiating with the Carnegie Library Institute which made it possible for Redding to get a new state-of-the art-library, for $10,000.00. However, Redding would have to pledge one thousand dollars per year and find a suitable site for the building.

During the next month the application for the library was granted and the City of Redding would have to comply with Andrew Carnegie’s terms. The Redding library board created a petition for residents to sign. More than enough signatures were collected to make the City Trustees pass the petition and start working with Carnegie’s terms. While Redding wanted the Carnegie’s donation the process garnered a lot of attention in the media. By March 30, 1903, the Free Press newspaper of Redding heralded the following account:

Offer Site For Carnegie Library

Mr. and Mrs. Sam Hill Place Three Lots At Trustees Disposal.
All are on North California Street and have water and sewer connection. - Library Trustees Prepared To Receive Offers.

Mr. and Mrs. Sam Hill are the first public-spirited citizens to come forward and offer the Redding Library trustees a site a site for the new $10,000 Carnegie free public library building. One of the conditions imposed by Mr. Carnegie is that a suitable site be selected and procured by the city. Mr. and Mrs. Hill have placed three sites at the disposal of the trustees and in case either is selected, they will donate the land to the city for the library purposes. One of the lots is 54x140 feet on the east side of California Street between Shasta and North Streets. The other is 50x140 on the east side of California Street between North and Trinity Streets, and the third is a lot 50x140 feet on the west side of California Street, between North and Trinity Streets. All of these lots have newer sewer connections and water piped on the ground. Mr. Hill is anxious for Redding to take advantage of the library offer of Mr. Carnegie, and is willing to do his share, and more, toward securing the library building, which will be a great improvement to the city and something to which the citizens can point with pride. The library trustees are now ready to receive other offers. When all are on hand the trustees will meet and select the most advisable.” (SIC)

Four months later, an architect by the name of G.A. Wright from San Francisco started clout chasing when he made statements to the press that he was the reason why Carnegie donated the money for Redding to obtain its new library. He also claimed to be the person who was going to build the future library building for Redding. The library board immediately responded to prove he was a phony. While people were making claims in various places the local media wanted to assure their readers that there were no hitches involved within the planning for the new library while the City Trustees and the library board were working together on the project, that July.

On August 12, 1903 an official contract was let to architect Mathew W. Herron of Redding to design a Classical Revival style type of building. The construction contract was awarded to the Holt & Gregg Company of Anderson for the sum of $9,350. The library board and the City Trustees did not accept the land offers of Mr. and Mrs. Hill; however, they did pick an official location on the west side of the Lorenz hotel and the railroad tracks on Yuba Street in downtown Redding.

Then on, December 18, 1903, the Women’s Improvement Club awarded the plumbing contracts of the new building to Witter & Norton, as the construction waned. By December 29, 1903, the brand-new Carnegie Library building was completed. According to one excerpt of on article it stated the following: “The interior finishing of the building is now complete. The bookshelves, tables, file racks and blinds have been put in and the interior woodwork polished. The grounds in front of the building have been leveled, filled and laid out for parking. Crushed rock walls have been laid and hydrants placed. This work was done under the supervision of the Women’s Improvement Club.

People kept moving various publications into the new library up to January 1, 1904. Local citizens were proud of their new Christmas gift, the Redding Carnegie Library, which opened to the public that year. In 1904 the library board consisted of the following people: E.L. Bailey, president; William F. Aram, financial secretary; Emma (Gregory) Groves, Mrs. F.M. Brown, director; Mary E. (Allen) Reid, director; and Mrs. W.F. Aram, secretary and librarian.

During November of 1904, the Women’s Improvement Club of Redding received a set of plans designed by Elizabeth (Litsch) Etter, a daughter of Shasta County pioneers Frank Litsch and Caroline (Shuere) Litsch, regarding a new park on the Carnegie Library grounds. The group unanimously accepted the plans and went ahead to develop the park that month. The club decided to name it Library Park. It was designed after a park that Elizabeth and her husband Allen saw on a trip to Alameda, California that was about the same size. The Women’s Improvement Club oversaw the parks landscape.

In 1910, the Carnegie Library Institute added new publications to the Redding library, and not just a small donation of books either, but 2,787 volumes which totaled over $3,000. The library had 648 members at that time while the Redding library continued to prosper. Two years later, librarian Jennie H. Taylor reported a library report to the Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, for the month of February 1912, which stated the following facts:

Number of visitors during the month, 1,979; books loaned, 1,078, books purchased, 31; discarded 1, new members, 8; total number of members to date, 873; books in library to date, 2,685.

The library board continued purchasing new books for their library, and sometimes they were lucky enough to have a book donated by their patrons. The library also had a growing membership as well. Prior to the death of Library Park designer and library board of director, Elizabeth (Litsch) Etter on May 5, 1938, she established a $2,000 trust fund through her estate which she bequeathed to the library board. The funds in this account kept growing over time. Later, library repairs, book repairs, and their regular bills were paid with money from this fund.

Up until the 1940s the Carnegie library board paid their librarian a minimal undisclosed fee. The Carnegie Library lacked a paid janitor while the library board often pitched in to help clean their building. Eventually, the librarian fee was changed during that decade to $65 per month and a janitor was employed to be paid $10 per month for cleaning services. During October of 1949, the library board allowed Redding residents to cast a vote whether to change to a county library or stay as a city library. At that time the vote was made to become a county library.

In 1961, the Redding City Council had Richard Ward, a city engineer examine the interior and exterior of the Carnegie Library building. After the inspection was done, he declared the structure to be unsound. At that time, it was Redding City Manager, R.W. Cowden who then urged the Redding City Council to demolish the building for a parking lot. It was primarily because of Ward’s opinion and it was estimated to be between $30,000-$60,000 in repairs to bring the Carnegie Library building up to safety standards. The Redding City Council considered this extreme estimate not feasible. They also claimed ownership to the property.



Above: the Carnegie Library with a parking meter out front on the Yuba Street side. The Carnegie Library had a registered address of  1527 Yuba Street. This photo is looking south at the entrance to the building. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society. 


It was known that the Carnegie Library building needed some repairs and an architect was hired by a Mrs. Marie Rice to examine the structure on March 10, 1962. The name of the architect was William Woollett. He was from Los Angeles, California and was a member of the National Preservation Committee of the American Institute of Architects.

After Woollett inspected the interior and exterior of the building he wrote a letter to Mrs. Rice who forwarded the letter to the Redding City Council and the library board with his suggestions on how the building could be brought up to date with the City of Redding’s safety standards. In this letter Woollett wrote the following: “This building deteriorated from lack of normal care. Any good building carefully and properly built will go to pieces without proper protection from the elements. But in my opinion this building can be brought to good use by immediate attention to the items mentioned in recommended specification.” There were a lot listed but there were only three stages of recommended specifications in the letter.

As hopeful as the above statement from Mr. Woollett sounded the demise of the Carnegie Library was approaching fast. This was a surprising blow to Redding City Manager R.W. Cowden who continued to push the Redding City Council to demolish the building for a parking lot. The city had already planned to build a new library at the corner of Shasta and West Streets in Redding, and it was completed in 1962.



Above: the alley way between the Lorenz hotel and the Carnegie Library. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society.


The library board transferred their entire catalog of publications and other items they needed from the Carnegie Library to the brand-new library at Shasta and West Streets before the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony on March 12, 1962. Redding’s third library building would serve a whole new generation of readers. it is now the home of the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office at 1355 West Street.

Redding’s Carnegie Library building stayed open to the public from 1904-1962, a total of fifty-eight years. It was Redding’s second library and many people to this day cherish their fond memories of it. By December 31, 1962, the Carnegie Library was still standing on Yuba Street as a deserted building. Even the Redding Record Searchlight newspaper assured people that if the building was purchased it would be torn down in the future.

Meanwhile, the Shasta Historical Society took an interest in this building which became their first fight in historic preservation in Redding since their establishment in 1930. The Shasta Historical Society wasn’t going away quietly as a controversy raged on over the vacant building between the Society, the Redding City Council, and other organizations who showed an interest in the building. Eventually, Cowden’s motion for demolition was approved by the Redding City Council and the building was demolished against Woollett’s opinion in 1965, when it became a parking lot. Library Park survived the demolition phase.


Above: looking north behind the Carnegie Library with Library Park (now Carnegie Park) with its benches and palm trees on the left. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society.


Library Park continued to be used by various people throughout the years. In 1995, the Carnegie stage was erected on the same spot as the Carnegie Library, after it was designed by Trilogy Architecture. The stage was named after its predecessor and it became utilized for public concerts and special events. The original name of Library Park was in use from 1904 to February of 2017, a total of 113 years. This is when the Redding City Council was asked to change the name of Library Park to Carnegie Park by the Community Services Advisory Commission. A vote at the Redding City Council meeting took place that month and the name change passed.

My cousin-in-law, Todd Franklin is the developer and co-owner of The Park, Redding’s Food Truck Hub, who opened this poplar outdoor Redding family eatery at Carnegie Park on September 27, 2018. Franklin has a ten-year concession agreement to lease the area with the City of Redding for his company TF Investment Group LLC. It was a process to help the City of Redding take back its park which was controlled by many homeless people at the time. It’s now known in the community as “The Park” due to its popular advertising on the Carnegie Park grounds. Carnegie Park still retains its name by the Redding City Council. Today, Carnegie Park remains active as Redding’s premier family location for food trucks and their events hosted by Franklin’s company. 





Above: the opening weekend of The Park, Redding's Food Truck Hub. The Carnegie stage with a live band performing that night. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on September 28, 2018.



Above: the opening weekend of The Park, Redding's Food Truck Hub at Carnegie Park in Redding. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on September 28, 2018.



Above: looking north on opening weekend at The Park, Redding's Food Truck Hub, WITHOUT  the Carnegie Library building in the distance. Children playing bowling and other games as they usually do when the park is open to customers. This is Carnegie Park. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on September 28, 2018.












RESOURCES:

Handsome Library Will Be Erected In Redding - The San Francisco Call newspaper of San Francisco, July 29, 1902

Carnegie Calls Library Board - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, February 17, 1903

Carnegie Will Give The $10,000 - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, March 25, 1903

Offer Site For Carnegie Library- The Free Press newspaper of Redding, March 30, 1903

Taxpayers Want Carnegie Library - The Free Press newspaper of Redding - April 16, 1903

Merchants’ Club Endorses Carnegie Library Plan - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, April 11, 1903

Carnegie Money Now Available - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, June 22, 1903

Architect Wright Makes A Claim - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, July 2, 1903

No “Hitch” In Library Matters - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, July 8, 1903

Discuss Plans Of Carnegie Library - The Searchlight newspaper of Redding, July 10, 1903

Plans Adopted For Carnegie Library - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, July 18, 1903

Contract Let For Carnegie Free Library - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, August 12, 1903

Redding’s Library - The Chico Record newspaper of Chico, August 14, 1903

Library Work - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, December 18, 1903

Final Payment On The Library - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, December 29, 1903

Moving Library - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, January 4, 1904

Redding’s $10,000 Christmas Gift - The Carnegie Free Public Library - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, January 23, 1904

What The Women’s Improvement Club Has Done For Redding - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, January 23, 1904

Accepted Plans For Library Park - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, November 11, 1904

Library Facts Of Two Cities - The Red Bluff News newspaper of Red Bluff, March 24, 1905

1910 U.S. Census

Redding Library Prospers - The Sacramento Union newspaper of Sacramento, July 27, 1910

Library Report - The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, March 7, 1912

1920 U.S. Census

Action On Library Postponed For Year - The Sacramento Union newspaper of Sacramento, July 9, 1920


Mrs. Allen W. Etter Is Buried in Oakland – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, May 7, 1938

New Library Ready To Open - The Record Searchlight newspaper of Redding, March 10, 1962

Architect Urges Redding To Save Old Library Building - The Record Searchlight newspaper of Redding, March 12, 1962

Redding’s Library Stands Quietly But Noisy Historical Controversy Rages - The Sacramento Bee newspaper of Sacramento, June 17, 1962

Library Popularity Increases -The Record Searchlight newspaper of Redding, December 31, 1962

Library Board Ends Long - But Idle - Career - The Record Searchlight newspaper of Redding, December 31, 1962

The Litsch Family, unknown author. From the archives of the Shasta Historical Society.

The Record Searchlight newspaper of Redding, June 30, 1986

A Statement Of Appraisal Of The Physical Condition Of The Carnegie Library At Redding by William Woollet, A.L.A., Los Angeles, California, March 14, 1962. From the archives of the Shasta Historical Society.

Report: California Carnegie Library Buildings. From the archives of the Shasta Historical Society.


Redding & Shasta County: Gateway To The Cascades written by John D. Lawson, ©1986 by Windsor Publications, Inc., 184 pages ISBN 0-89781-187-9


A Timeline of Redding Development Growth Destruction and Rebirth by David McCullough


Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Redding's Christmas Tree: A Local Tradition Since 1919


A crowd gathers to attend the lighting of the Redding Christmas tree in 1933. The tree is topped with a neon star. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society.


This holiday favorite was originated in 1919 by the Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), who cut the first evergreen to be placed on display in the city from McComber Lake in Shasta County. The tree was then transported by truck to the intersection of Market and Yuba Streets in downtown Redding for its placing. The tree could be of any size if they were fully branched without missing spaces. The Christmas tree would often stay standing until after the New Year had arrive, then it was dismantled.

Each year, the tree was crowned with a beautiful neon star on the top of the tree. Then in December of 1929, the Redding Christmas tree was measured at 73 feet high, and it was donated to the PG&E by two residents from La Moine. The date of December 20th, 1929 was selected for the big party at the intersection of Market and Yuba Streets. 

To help the Pacific Gas & Electric Company, a general committee was organized about 1930 which was comprised of Mayor William Menzel, Chairman; Ben Mason, and K.A. Walker. This committee would organize the upcoming Christmas tree festivities and other Christmas events. New delegates would be chosen to this committee in the future as well. In 1930, twenty-five hundred boxes were ordered to place gifts inside them for the children of Shasta and Trinity Counties in Redding, and gifts were purchased to be placed inside these boxes. 

Officials selected November 28th, 1930 for the beginning of the holiday season, in which Redding stores celebrated by decorating their window displays and buildings for Christmas. Also, some stores reduced their prices as well. Stores along Market Street stayed opened later to attract as many customers as they could. Hundreds of people gathered to be present for the highlights that evening while Redding lacked a Christmas tree. It was S.G. Nelson of the McCormick-Saeltzer Company who donated the Christmas tree which he planned on cutting down with the help of W.D. Simons, Earl Lee Kelley, K.A. Walker, Dr. H.C. Erno, Ben Mason, James Holt, Mayor William Menzel, Augustas H. Gronwoldt and Lyle Sarvis. The tree was transported to Redding from La Moine by the Pacific Gas & Electric Company in one of their trucks. Later, the Christmas tree was dedicated on December 15, 1930.

Each year, new ideas were presented, and the dates were pushed back earlier, or moved forward later for the lighting of the Redding Christmas tree and other festivities to be included during this joyful event. The intersection of Market and Yuba Streets was used up until 1970 (a total of fifty-one years) according to several Shasta Historical Society members who remembered it well. The Christmas tree was relocated around that time period to the parking structure on California Street (which is now being demolished). The construction of the downtown Redding Mall is the reason why the Christmas tree was relocated there. The downtown Redding Mall was opened by August of 1972.

After forty-nine years, the Christmas tree will be back in its original location at Market and Yuba Streets on December 6, 2019 which will be dedicated that night at Winter Fest. Older residents still recall and cherish their memories of having the Christmas tree at that location. This time, a whole new generation will be able to create memories with their families and loved ones at the original site. This year also marks the one hundredth anniversary of this Christmas tradition. 



The green paint on the ground represents where the Christmas tree will be dedicated at Market and Yuba Streets on December 6, 2019 during Winter Fest. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on November 7, 2019.


RESOURCES:

Redding To Have Giant Christmas Tree For All Children Of The County - The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, December 11, 1925

Redding Community Tree Is 73 Feet High - The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, December 16, 1929

Christmas Party's Leaders Named - The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, November 22, 1930

Christmas Season Opens At 7:30; Visit Redding Stores Tonight - The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, November 28, 1930

Christmas Opening Crowds Local Stores - The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, November 29, 1930

Party Organized To Get Christmas Tree For Christmass Fete - The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, December 9, 1930

Christmas Tree Put Up On Monday - The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, December 15, 1930

The Covered Wagon 1954, published annually by Shasta Historical Society.

The Christmas Tree - The Shasta Shopper, December 17, 1987

Redding's Christmas Tree is finally coming home - and staying downtown, by David Benda, The Record Searchlight newspaper of Redding, November 2, 2019

A Timeline of Redding Development Growth Destruction and Rebirth by David McCullough

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

THE LORENZ HOTEL


An iconic and historic building in downtown Redding, the Lorenz hotel, with an engraved date of 1901 on the front top of the building. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.


The present-day, Lorenz hotel is located at 1509 Yuba Street in Redding. It is currently owned and operated by the Christian Church Homes and is presently used to assist senior citizens with affordable housing. Four additional businesses continue to operate on the ground floor. In the lobby is a Barbershop, and on the east side of the building is the Deja Vu Restaurant, on the north east corner is the Station, a coffee shop boutique and on the north west corner is the Carousel, a clothing store.

In March of 1901 a contract was let by the estate of Henry Lorenz to Charles H. Barrett of the firm Arnold & Barrett to design a three-story hotel in downtown Redding on Yuba Street on a vacant lot which that estate had purchased that year. Henry Lorenz had been deceased since 1895. The family made their fortune to erect this hotel from the lucrative Red Hill Placer mine that they owned at Junction City in Trinity County. The lot was located between the Golden Eagle hotel and the railroad tracks. In previous years, before the hotel was built on the vacant lot it was a well-known piece of swampland containing malaria. Yet, the future construction of the hotel changed its environment.

Early on, it was estimated that the building could be erected for $30,000 and paid for by the Henry Lorenz estate which was managed by Franz Joseph Lorenz, one of the twelve children of Henry Lorenz and Susan (Leibrant) Lorenz. However, the figure changed drastically. The twelve children of Henry Lorenz and Susan (Leibrant) Lorenz are the following:

1. Franz Joseph Lorenz (1862-1937), who married Annie Margaret Gilbert.
2. Henry Lorenz (1863-1915), he never married.
3. Christina Lorenz (1865-1938), who married Joseph W. Smith.
4. Mary Anne Lorenz (1868-1868), who died young.
5. John Nicholas Lorenz (1869-1936), who married Rose.
6. Matilda Lorenz (1871-1950), who married William Gribble.
7. Susan Lorenz (1874-1959), who married James H. Gribble.
8. William David Lorenz (1876-1961).
9. George Jacob Lorenz (1878-1912), he never married.
10. Emma Lorenz (1881-1963), she married first to James H. Hoyle, then her second marriage was to Herbert L. Moody and then she married for a third time to Amos Meininger.
11. Grover Cleveland Lorenz (1884-1973), who married Louise Machado.
12. Charlie Lorenz (1886-1888), who died young.



Above: is Henry Lorenz who was born on March 26, 1825 in Bavaria, Germany and died in 1895 from critical injuries received during a buggy accident in Trinity County. His estate helped establish the Lorenz hotel. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society. 




Above: is Susan (Leibrant) Lorenz who was born July 8, 1844 in Allen County, Indiana and died on April 3, 1925, she is the wife of Henry Lorenz. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society.

Eventually, the plans for this hostelry were revised for the structure to become a four-story building with a basement. Barrett designed a Beaux Arts/Italian Renaissance building which contained forty-four rooms on three of the four floors. The basement included a cold storage room to keep large quantities of frozen meat, vegetables, and additional perishable goods preserved for an indefinite time. Also, in the basement was the billiard room, bath and toilet rooms. Then on, May 6, 1901, the Free Press newspaper of Redding published the following article:

Contract Is Let For Lorenz Hotel

The first construction contract for the new Lorenz hotel was let Monday afternoon. It was awarded to Holt & Gregg over a number of other competitors. This firm will excavate and build the foundation and basement complete and up to the first story. The contract price approximates $10,000. The papers will be signed and then work must begin within three days and be completed within forty-eight days.
” (SIC)

The Henry Lorenz estate began negotiations to lease their hotel after the above article appeared that month. They were negotiating with several well-known hostelry people to conduct the hotel for them under a lease option. Among them were Daniel G. Coy and his son Guy C. Coy, and D. McCarthy who made offers to the Henry Lorenz estate.

After the lease deadline expired, the Henry Lorenz estate issued the lease of their hotel to James H. Hoyle, a shrewd businessman and a son-in-law of Henry Lorenz and Susan (Leibrant) Lorenz. Hoyle became the first manager of this impressive hostelry. Their daughter, Emma was Hoyle’s wife and she became the hostess of the establishment.

During July of 1901, the media reported that Holt & Gregg of Anderson will continue to build this hostelry skyward for a final cost of $56,194 and the owners were still contemplating whether to include an elevator at that time. The Terry Lumber Company supplied Holt & Gregg with their wood from their lumber yard at Bella Vista during the construction. The materials used during the construction of this imposing building were brick and concrete in the foundation, the walls were made of brick and sandstone, the roof was made of wood, and other items were wood windowsills/frames and columns.

While the construction of the Lorenz hotel took place there were $100,000 of improvements being made around the City of Redding, on four different buildings and the construction of a brand-new post office building on Market Street. Redding was changing rapidly, and local businesses were thriving. As the construction waned, the Lorenz estate approved an elevator which was to be installed before April 1, 1902, this became the first elevator in Redding, and Shasta County, as it made headline news in the area. However, it didn’t meet the deadline and wasn’t installed until later that year. After the installation of the elevator occurred, it cost the Henry Lorenz estate $750 per month to operate it twenty-four-hours per day. The electricity was supplied by the Keswick Power Company.

There is a bit of confusion regarding the grand opening of the Lorenz hotel, some historians celebrate October 18, 1902 as the big day, and that is incorrect. There is an article written by the Free Press newspaper of Redding which heralds the title of “Opening of The Lorenz Hotel” which was published on October 20, 1902. It mainly refers to the management holding a grand public reception in the future, but no date or time was rendered for the grand celebration. Then there is the following advertisement from the Lorenz hotel which claims November 15, 1902 is the grand opening of the new hotel.



Above: an advertisement showing a vignette of the Hotel Lorenz and rendering the grand opening date of November 15, 1902. From the November 14, 1902 edition of the Free Press newspaper of Redding. 


However, an excerpt of an article from the Searchlight newspaper of Redding on November 18, 1902 claimed the following about the formal grand opening of the Lorenz hotel: "and on the following evening a grand  reception will be given there in honor of the teachers in attendance at the annual convention of the Northern California Teacher's Association , when an opportunity will be given the public to view the new hostelry." (SIC) The date of November 19, 1902, is the last official date rendered for the hostelry's grand opening.




Above: the lobby and the registration desk inside the Lorenz hotel. Date unknown. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society.




Above: the Lorenz bar inside the Lorenz hotel. Date unknown. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society.

Later, in June of 1903, Hoyle was approved by the estate of Henry Lorenz to employ additional help and they hired local hostelry man William J. Gillespie to assist Hoyle with the management. There are some sources claim that Gillespie was hired by the Henry Lorenz estate before Hoyle and that is inaccurate. By February of 1904 the Lorenz hotel was in competition with the following hotels in the City of Redding: the Del Monte Lodgings and Tenements, the Depot hotel, the Edmond hotel, the Golden Eagle hotel, the Mountain View House, the Temple hotel, and the S.P.R.R. Passenger Depot and Freight Hotel.

Even though Hoyle & Gillespie advertised as the proprietors of this establishment they were still the lessees of this hotel. Their contracts with the Henry Lorenz estate could change at a moment’s notice. Four years later, in February of 1907, it was James H. Hoyle who purchased Gillespie’s interest and then Hoyle resold this half-interest to his brother-in-law, Franz Lorenz. The purchase price was undisclosed, yet on June 1st, of that year Hoyle and Lorenz purchased a lease option for the next five years for $28,800, made payable to the Henry Lorenz estate, “at the rate of $400 per month - $200 on the 1st and 15th of each month. The lease just executed carries with it a privilege of five years more at the rate of $500 per month.” (SIC)

On the evening of November 20, 1908, a “muffled roar, and a flash of flame ajar that shook the entire building and wrecked three rooms, entailing a loss of about $1,000 a quantity of gas that had escaped from a broken gas pipe, exploded in a room of the Lorenz hotel.” The alarm rang out and fire crews immediately responded. Eventually this news was heralded by media outlets across the State of California.

Media outlets reported that there was no serious damage to the structure, however, there were five people injured in the explosion which was caused by a match which was lit in a gas charged room. Among the injured who received severe burns, but not critical injuries were Susan (Leibrant) Lorenz, D.A. Lancaster, a commercial traveler from San Francisco, Mrs. H.A. Jones, Walter Erskine, and John Rule. Erskine and Rule were employees of the hostelry.


Above: an advertisement for the Hotel Lorenz, based on the American and European plan, featuring an Electric Elevator, a fireproof building, reasonable rates and a cold storage plant. From the August 5, 1909 edition of the Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding.

Business was thriving at the Lorenz hotel in Redding which was still under lease to Hoyle and Lorenz. When the 1910 U.S. Census was enumerated on May 10, 1910 it documented that James H. Hoyle was a partner in the hotel at the age of twenty-nine, Emma (Lorenz) Hoyle was listed at the age of twenty-eight, and Susan (Leibrant) Lorenz was documented as a partner in this hotel. She was living there at the age of sixty-five, along with her son Franz, his wife Annie, and their five children. Thirteen additional tenants are documented on this U.S. Census as living inside the Lorenz hotel.



Above: this photograph shows the Hotel Lorenz on Yuba Street. This hostelry hosted a number of local businesses since its grand opening. The Stadium Theatre is advertised on the north west window of the building. The Stadium Theater was originally located on Market at Tehama Streets in Redding, and it was opened to the public on June 17, 1908 by its proprietors Jane Olney and James Miller. The Stadium Theater later moved to the Lorenz hotel and it stayed in business until 1910, when Olney and Miller purchased the Majestic Theater from Julius Lang.  Circa 1910. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society.

Five years later, another fire erupted inside this building on July 20, 1915, causing $3,000 in damages by fire and water. How this ravaging fire ignited was never determined but the Redding Fire Department battled the flames. Insurance was covered on the hotel. Two years later, on October 13, 1917, members of the Henry Lorenz estate filed articles of incorporation in Redding to establish the Lorenz Company with a capital stock of $81,000. At this time, a board of directors were organized as well with president, Susan (Leibrant) Lorenz; director, Franz Lorenz; director, Emma (Lorenz) Hoyle; director, Christina (Lorenz) Smith; and director, Grover Lorenz.


Above: a cancelled stock certificate for the Lorenz Company of Redding. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society.

The Lorenz Company employed Arthur L. Watson in 1920 and 1921 to manage the hotel. Then on, April 3, 1925, Susan (Leibrant) Lorenz died at the age of eighty years old at the home of her daughter Emma. She was an early pioneer settler of Trinity County who arrived and settled there in 1857. Surviving the widow of Henry Lorenz were eight sons and daughters at the time of her death. During the late 1920's the Lorenz hotel became home to an auto stage stop for the Redding-Fall River Stage Line which conveyed passengers from Redding to Fall River (in Shasta County), and the Redding-Bieber Freight Line, which hauled freight from Redding to Bieber.

Once again, in the early morning hours of December 5, 1928 a mysterious fire of uncertain origin in which was estimated between $20,000 and $30,000 in damages was started in the fourth story front of the building on the Yuba Street side. During the excitement, an employee named Robert Johnson who was employed at the hotel as a bell hop caught a thief in his room who took Johnson's wallet containing $14. The fire alarm rang out and the Redding Fire Department was on the scene fighting the blaze. The thief was turned over to the Redding Police who locked up a looter by the name of Ed Morris in the Shasta County Jail. Over time, the Lorenz Company remodeled the fourth floor of the building and business resumed.

The Lorenz Hotel's first lessee, James H. Hoyle died of an heart ailment at San Francisco in the Grand hotel of that city on January 4, 1935, where he had been living for the last few years. Hoyle had been a promoter of mining claims in Trinity County, and he was well remembered as conducting the Lorenz hotel when it was brand new. At the time of his death Hoyle was no longer married to Emma as they were previously divorced, and she later remarried to Herbert L. Moody of Redding to become his second wife. Moody was a retired newspaper publisher in the Redding area, and it was Emma (Lorenz) Moody who continued the management of the Lorenz Hotel, however tragedy soon struck Emma when her second husband Herbert L. Moody, died in San Francisco in 1931.

Emma continued to manage the Lorenz hotel and then she married a third time to Amos Meininger in 1939. Her new husband Amos Meininger was well-known in the community and had been a resident of Redding since 1937. He had purchased another well-known establishment in Redding called the Home Mortuary in 1945 and changed the name of this undertaking service to the Meininger Mortuary. During this time, business thrived for both. Emma had no children in either marriage.



Above: on March 30, 1937, a  $100,000 fire broke out inside the Lorenz hotel as the top floor was gutted. Dense smoke is seen rising from the building. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society. 


Above: on March 30, 1937 a $100,000 fire broke out inside the Lorenz hotel as the top floor was gutted. Firemen with hoses are seen on the roof with dense smoke rising from the building. This view is looking north-west from Placer and California Streets at the Lorenz hotel. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society.


Emma (Lorenz) Meininger had operated the Lorenz hotel up until her and her husband's death in 1963 as a director of the Lorenz Company. After that, other members of the Lorenz Company operated this hostelry. Over the years, additional businesses moved into the ground floor store fronts of the Lorenz hotel. The Lorenz Company operated this hostelry until 1973, when the Lorenz Company closed the hotel and sold it in 1975.


Three years later the new owners of this hostelry opened the hotel for senior citizen living. In 1991, 5 million dollars’ worth of renovations were made to the building by the U.S.D.H.U.D. A plaque which was dedicated by the Lorenz family, Shasta Historical Society, the Charlie Moss Historical Fund, and the Trinitaranius Chapter #62 of the Ancient and Honorable Order of E. Clampus Vitus In Cooperation with Christian Church Home’s was dedicated by them on November 7, 2015.


Above: the historic plaque on the building which was dedicated November 7, 2015. Taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.



Above: the California Street side with Deja Vu the restaurant. The historic plaque can be seen on the lower right. Taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.


Above: On the Yuba Street side of the building is a National Geodetic United States Benchmark. The date of 1919 is visible on it. It was accidentally painted over with red paint. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.


Above: the lobby of the historic Lorenz hotel with its registration desk. Decorated for Halloween. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.


Above: the resident mail boxes at the Lorenz hotel. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.



Above: today a barber shop occupy's a portion of the lobby inside the historic Lorenz hotel. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.


Above: the original safe from the Lorenz Company is still in the lobby next to the elevator. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.



Above: The Lorenz hotel was the first elevator in operation at Redding and in Shasta County. This one was in working condition like its predecessor was and functions the same from floor 1 to floor 4. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.



Above: the doorway to the stair case at the Lorenz hotel, ground floor. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.



Above: a red stair case at the Lorenz hotel, ground floor. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.



Above: 2nd floor of the Lorenz hotel. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.



Above: looking south from a window inside the hallway of the Lorenz hotel. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.



Above: 3rd floor of the Lorenz hotel. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.


Above: the 4th floor of the Lorenz hotel near the elevator. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.


Above: the 4th floor of the Lorenz hotel. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.



Above: this postcard image was taken between the years: 1904 and 1915. It shows the Golden Eagle hotel in the distance, the Lorenz hotel, the quartz water fountain and the Carnegie Library. On the north-west corner of the Lorenz building is the advertisement for the Norther California Power Company. The Carnegie Library was built in 1903. From the collection of Jeremy Tuggle.




Above: after the above postcard image was taken. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.





RESOURCES:

Henry Lorenz (death notice) - The Shasta Courier newspaper of Shasta, November 9, 1895

1900 U.S. Census

Lorenz Estate Promises To Build Redding By The Railroad - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, March 22, 1901

Hotel To Have Four Stories - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, March 28, 1901

Fine Hotel For Redding - The San Francisco Call call newspaper of San Francisco, April 19, 1901

Redding's New Hotel, THE LORENZ, Designed by Arnold & Barrett - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, April 13, 1901

Contract Is Let For Lorenz Hotel - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, May 6, 1901

Hotel Is Now Building - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, May 23, 1901

Asks Bids For Hotel Lorenz - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, May 23, 1901

A $20,000 Theater Is A Possibility - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, June 11, 1901

Business Buildings as printed in The Engineering Record, January-June 1901, Vol. 43, No. 17 (New York), 412.

Changes Talked Of For Hotel Lorenz - The Free newspaper of Redding, July 3, 1901

Four New Buildings Rear Their Walls - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, July 16, 1901

Contract For Hotel Lorenz - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, July 18, 1901

Lorenz Hotel To Get Passenger Elevator - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, December 24, 1901

Coy & Son Try To Get Hotel Lorenz - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, May 23, 1902

Redding’s New Hotel Is A Revelation - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, June 6, 1902

The Lorenz Hotel Will Soon Be Open - The Searchlight newspaper of Redding, October 12, 1902

The Lorenz Will Be Opened Soon - The Searchlight newspaper of Redding, October 16, 1902

The Hotel Lorenz Will Be Open Before November 21 - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, October 15, 1902

Opening Of The Lorenz Hotel - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, October 20, 1902

James Hoyle Will Manage The Lorenz - The Searchlight newspaper of Redding, October 21, 1902

Finest Fixtures In All California - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, October 22, 1902

The Hotel Lorenz (advertisement) - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, November 14, 1902

Formal Opening Of Hotel Lorenz - The Searchlight newspaper of Redding, November 18, 1902

Hotel Lorenz (advertisement) - The Searchlight newspaper of Reddding, November 21, 1902

The Hotel Lorenz (advertisement) - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, December 19, 1902

The Hotel Lorenz (advertisement) - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, February 12, 1903

New Landlord for Hotel Lorenz - The Red Bluff Daily News newspaper of Red Bluff, April 17, 1903

The Hotel Lorenz (advertisement) - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, June 21, 1903

City of Redding - The Sanborn Map Company ©February of 1904

Hotel Lorenz (advertisement) - The Sacramento Union newspaper of Sacramento, April 25, 1906

Falls To Death From Fire Escape - The Red Bluff News newspaper of Red Bluff, September 14, 1906

Hoyle Sells Half Interest in Lorenz - The Courier-Free Press, February 9, 1907

Half Interest Sold In The Lorenz Hotel - The Sacramento Union newspaper of Sacramento, February 11, 1907

Shasta County Will Entertain The Governor - The Sacramento Union newspaper of Sacramento, February 19, 1907

Hotel Leased For A Term Of Years - The Sacramento Union newspaper of Sacramento, June 16, 1907

New Theater Opens - The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, June 18, 1908

Gas Explosion In Hotel Room - The Sacramento Union newspaper of Sacramento, November 21, 1908

The Majestic (advertisement) - The Searchlight newspaper of Redding, January 1, 1910

Explosion In Redding Hotel Injures Five - The Chico Record newspaper of Chico, November 22, 1908

Hotel Men Meet Growing Demand - The Sacramento Union newspaper of Sacramento, June 13, 1910

1910 U.S. Census

Boardman Brothers & Co. brochure for the new Boardman Addition ©1910. From the archives of Shasta Historical Society.

Fire In Redding Hotel - The Riverside Daily Press newspaper of Riverside, July 20, 1915

Company Organized To Conduct Hotel - The Sacramento Union newspaper of Sacramento, October 14, 1917

Pioneer Woman Of Trinity County Dies In Redding - The Searchlight newspaper of Redding, April 4, 1925

Early Fire At Lorenz Does Big Damage - The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, December 5, 1928

H.L. Moody Passes On - The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, September 3, 1931

James H. Hoyle Passes On At The Bay - The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, January 4, 1935

J.N. Lorenz Is Called On In Santa Rosa - The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, March 19, 1936

Mrs. Smith's Funeral On Saturday Morning - The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, May 26, 1938

LP-034 Lorenz, Susan (Leibrant), and Lorenz Henry, Pioneer Plaque File on file at Shasta Historical Society.

Redding Pair Die In Crash - The Redding Record-Searchlight newspaper of Redding, September 10, 1963

Lorenz Hotel, Redding, California - the Lorenz Log, November ©1987

The Lorenz Hotel by Marilyn Hoke - The Covered Wagon 1998, published by Shasta Historical Society, pages 83-88.

The Red Hotel by James O' Brien published by the Enjoy Magazine ©February 2007